How To Install Glass In A Commercial Storefront Door?
In this how to guide, we explain everything you need to know on how to install glass in a storefront aluminum door.
Glazing - What Is It?
If you have been doing research on glass, you may have heard the term glazing thrown around. Glazing in basic terms is the act of installing the glass. In our application we will be explaining how to glaze storefront doors, or in other words, how to install glass in commercial doors.
Understanding Glass Stops and How They Work
A glass stop is the aluminum extrusion which holds the glass into place in the door. The glass stop extrusion has an insert where a rubber strip, known as the glazing gasket slides into the full length of the glass stop extrusion. The glass stop is designed to snap into the door by compression and essentially holds the glass into the door. The glazing gasket compresses against the glass for a tight seal.
Glass Stop Sizes
The most common glass stops sizes are used with 1/4" glass. However other glass stop sizes are available which allow the door to accept insulated glass such as 5/8" or 1" insulated glass.
Storefront Door Preparation
Before any glazing can occur, the storefront door must be prepped appropriately. Below are some key points to check before proceeding with installing the glass.
Glass Jack (Door Leveling Adjustment Screw)
Most storefront doors have an adjustment screw located in the top door rail web nearest the lock stile. This adjustment screw is sometimes referred to as a door leveling screw or a glass jack. Before the glass can be installed, i is best practice to make sure the glass jack is backed off so that the glass will be able to sit inside of the door without any interference.
Door & Frame Must Be Plumb and Square
Before the glass can be installed, the storefront door and frame must be plumb and anchored properly. It is ideal to install the door into the frame, and verify proper swing and operation of the door as well as any height or sag adjustment before the glass is installed. The glass can be installed while the door is in the door frame, however, we recommend removing the door from the frame and laying it flat onto two sawhorses so that the glass can be laid into it.
Installing The Glass
Step 1: Install Interior Side Glass Stops
The glass can be installed while the door is in the door frame, however, we recommend removing the door from the frame and laying it flat onto two sawhorses, as it is easier for installation. The first step is to install the interior side glass stops. There are 4 interior side glass stops (two for the door stiles and two for the door rails). The interior glass stops should have the glazing gasket in them for the full length of the glass stop. The interior glass stops engages and "slips" into place in the door.
Step 2: Glass Setting Blocks Placed
Flip the door over and lay it back on the saw horses. The door should be facing up so that the glazing gasket of the interior glass stops is visible. Before any glazing can be done however, the storefront door must be properly prepped for glass installation. In order for the glass to set on the door, rubber or plastic setting blocks must be placed on the door. The glass will actually sit on the setting blocks, allowing the glass not to break. If the glass is installed without setting blocks, the glass would break since it would be in direct contact with the aluminum metal. For a standard 3'-0" x 7'-0" (36" x 84") storefront door there will be 4 glass setting blocks. There should be a setting block on each side of the top of the bottom door rail approximately 2 inches from the door stile. There should be a setting block on each side of the top of the door stile approximately 2 inches from the top door rail.
Step 3: Set The Glass In Place
Carefully set the glass on the setting blocks on the bottom door rail. Make sure that the glass is centered in the bottom rail with equal distance on each side of the door stile. Once the glass is fully lined up the entire piece of glass can be placed into the door. At this point the glass should be laying in the door with equal space on each side and the glass should be pushed against the interior glazing gasket. In typical glass installations there should be approximately 3/16" of a gap between the glass and the door rail or stile.
Step 4: Adjust The Glass Jack
Once the glass is in place, adjust the door leveling screw (glass jack) so that it just barely touches the glass. IMPORTANT: DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN AS IT CAN SHATTER THE GLASS!
Step 5: Install The Exterior Glass Stops
The next step is to install the exterior glass stops. Again, the glass stops should have glazing gasket running along the full length of the glass stop. Begin by inserting one of the exterior glass stops into the door. In order to install the glass stop it must be pushed in and "snapped" into place. In order to do so, we recommend using a rubber mallet and a nylon block or wood block to do this. Start at one end of the glass stop and set the wood block against the glass stop. Using the mallet hit the wood block to snap the glass stop in place. Slowly work down the glass stop until the entire glass stop is snapped in place. Repeat for the other 3 exterior glass stops.
This installation guide explains how to glaze any commercial aluminum storefront door. If you are in need of a new or replacement storefront door, we recommend Comanche storefront door systems. Each Comanche storefront door is manufactured in the USA and provides excellent security for any building that it is used in. Order your Comanche storefront door today and get FAST and FREE shipping!
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